Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Janis Freegard: it comes down to love

Janis's Slightly Peculiar Love Story pounced on me and held me under, letting go only at the end, so I could swim towards the bubble of light that had appeared.  She's also a poet whose collection Kingdom Animalia: the Escapades of Linnaeus has just been released with Auckland University Press. You can see Janis reading her poems here.
Photo by Hilary Tipping: Janis reads at her launch
 Janis: Everything comes back to love.  I rarely set out to write about love, but it often ends up that way.  After all, love is the glue that holds us all together.  And it’s such an inadequate word.  The same word makes do for searing passion and the lightest of preferences: ‘I’d love a flat white.’  (OK, maybe that is a searing passion).  It covers patriotism, affinity, enduring friendship and obsession.

My story in Slightly Peculiar Love Stories started with poetry and a name.  I’d been writing a poem about the sad and sinister side of life, the 'sunless underbelly'.  And, completely unconnected to that, it occurred to me one day that ‘Mill’ would be a good name for a character.  Someone whose real name was Millicent, but who didn’t suit that name at all; neither did she suit 'Milly'.  She was a resilient, determined sort of character, someone with an absolute trust in love; Mill seemed the perfect name.

Many years ago, when I was studying at Auckland University, I was stopped in the street by a scientologist who asked, ‘What’s the most important thing in life?’ I remember I replied that it was love.  I still believe that.

1 comment:

Tim Jones said...

That's a lovely post, but it left me wondering, what did the scientologist say next?

And the photo from your book launch reminded me how much fun your book launches are!